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Rich Surek – Questions I Normally Receive Part 3: 12 House Hunting Questions

WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD I ASK WHILE HOUSE HUNTING

There are normally many questions that home buyers will have throughout the process. Even an experienced home buyer can forget exactly how the process works and what the proper steps are to ensure the process is relatively smooth.

When buying a home, one of the most important things to understand is that “no question is a dumb question.” If you’re unsure of something when buying a home, ask!

1. WHAT IS A SHORT SALE?

Before you involve yourself with a short-sale, it’s important you know exactly what it is and what to expect.  The easiest way to understand a short sale is the sale of a home in which the proceeds from the sale are less than the balance of debts secured by liens against the property and the home owner cannot afford to pay the liens in full.

Before purchasing a short sale, you should consider things such as the time it can take for a short sale response, the fact that a foreclosure is still possible, and that many short sale properties are in disarray. Short sales are not impossible to buy but you must be patient and be in no immediate rush to move.

2. WHAT IS A FORELOSURE?

Believe it or not, foreclosures can actually be a smoother transaction than a short sale. A foreclosure, sometimes referred to as a REO, is a property that a lender owns. When considering the purchase of a foreclosure, it’s important to know, most are “as-is.” Foreclosures, if not purchased by an owner occupant, are often purchased by investors, fixed up, “flipped,” and sold to a owner occupant.

3. HOW IS THE NEIGHBORHOOD/AREA?

When buying a home, this is a very common question home buyers have. As a real estate professional, there are rules against steering and providing personal insight into specific areas and neighborhoods. This doesn’t mean that your we cannot provide you with tips to help you choose the right neighborhood when buying a home. Many buyers wonder about the growth of the local economy, crime statistics, taxes, and local amenities. I like to share this information with all my clients when buying a home.  I’ll make sure you’ll receive all of the pertinent information to allow you to make an educated decision on areas and neighborhoods in and around Madison, WI.

4. HOW ARE THE SCHOOLS?

This is another question that most Realtors should tread very lightly with. There is no doubt that schools impact property values. Just like tips for selecting a neighborhoods, a top Realtor should be able to provide you with names or websites where you can find information on the local schools so that you can determine whether or not the schools are acceptable to you or not.

5. WHAT ARE THE AVERAGE UTILITY BILLS?

When buying a home, it’s important to know what additional costs will be in addition to your monthly mortgage payment. Utility bills are just one of the additional costs to consider when buying a home. Utility bills can be obtained from the home owner and in some cases, from the local utility company, who can provide averages over the past 12 months. Keep in mind, everyone prefers to have their home temperature different, so the average bill could be different if you were to purchase the home.

6. WHAT’S THE AGE OF THE HOUSE, CONDO…?

When looking at homes, many buyers want to know the ages of specific items in a home. The most popular items in a home that buyers want to know about are the major mechanical items, such as the roof, furnace, water heater, and air conditioning (if applicable). As a Realtor with experience, I can help find the dates of a furnace, water heater, and air conditioning unit by looking at the serial numbers. The roof age is often known by the home owner. If not, the age usually can be determined by looking at the roof characteristics, such as the sagging areas or the way the shingles look.

7. HOW MANY HOMES SHOULD I LOOK AT BEFORE PUTTING IN AN OFFER?

This question is often asked and is a simple answer. The answer is, there is no specific number of homes you should look at before buying a home. Don’t feel that if you were to purchase the first home you look at that you’re making a mistake. Same can be said if it takes you looking at 25 homes.

8. HOW MUCH SHOULD I OFFER THE SELLERS?

When buying a home, you are the only one who can determine how much you should offer a seller. Certainly it’s suggested you ask for your Realtors advice and thoughts, but ultimately you are the only person who can determine how much you should offer.  My recent post for new home buyers can also help.

9. WHAT IS AN EARNEST MONEY CHECK / DEPOSIT?

An earnest money deposit is also frequently referred to as a good faith deposit. When a buyer purchases a home, they provide the seller’s real estate company a deposit to hold in their escrow account. The primary purpose of this deposit is to show a seller you are serious about purchasing their home. The amount that is deposited is subtracted from the final figure that a buyer pays at the closing table. In most cases, the larger the deposit, the stronger a purchase offer looks to a seller.

10. HOW LONG DOES THE SELLER HAVE TO RESPOND TO MY OFFER?

There is not a standard answer to this question. A purchase offer will have a “life time frame.” The “life time frame of the offer” can vary from 12 hours to 3 or 4 days. There are many possibilities that can effect the length of the offer. Your Realtor should know how long of a “life” to give to your offer. If you’re looking to purchase a home that is newly listed and the possibility of multiple offers exists, I recommend a shorter “life.” If the home you’re looking to purchase has been on the market for 3 months and the seller is located out of town, I recommend a 2 day “life.”

11.  WHAT IF MY OFFER IS REJECTED?

When a purchase offer is submitted to the seller there are generally four possible responses. The first is an accepted offer, the second is a counter offer, the third is a rejected offer, and the final is an offer that is not responded to. If your offer is rejected, meaning the seller says no and doesn’t counter, you have the right to place another offer. It’s not very common an offer is rejected or not responded to, unless a seller is offended by a low-ball offer.

12. WHAT IS THE NEXT STEP?

Congrats! Your offer was accepted, now what? Between contract acceptance and the closing date, there are many things that you may need to complete. In a nutshell, after an offer is accepted, generally any inspections will be completed. After inspections, you complete a formal mortgage application.  Last but not least, you may need to complete the title, abstract, survey, and any other paperwork. When buying a home, finding the perfect home is only one part of actually becoming a homeowner. Throughout the mortgage process, you should expect the lender to require documentation.  They may need letters and other items from you to satisfy their stipulations. Don’t be upset when this happens, it’s completely normal.  If you haven’t read Part 1 or Part 2, do so now.

FINAL THOUGHTS

When buying a home, preparation and education can really make a huge difference. Again, “no question is a dumb question” and if you are unsure of something, ask! The home buying process begins before you ever look at a home and continues all the way up to closing. When buying a home, it’s critical you’re on your game, stay organized, and remain focused throughout the entire process. After reading these frequently asked questions, you should now have a stronger understanding of what to expect throughout the process.

Richard Surek | Senior Mortgage Advisor | 608-960-4363 | rich@gosuslending.com | richsurek.com

CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE HOME BUYER CONSULTATION

CLICK HERE TO PRE-QUALIFY FOR A NEW HOME LOAN

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Rich Surek’s 11 Things That Can Trip Up Homebuyers

ELEVEN THINGS TO PAY ATTENTION TO FOR HOMEBUYERS

If you’re buying a house, don’t make these mistakes that could derail a sale or worse. Buying a house can be your American dream, but it can turn into a nightmare for many homebuyers. I don’t want you to go into the process with unrealistic expectations or improper information.

“The process of buying a home [can be] excruciating,” says Rich Surek, a US Lending Corporation mortgage executive with more than 20 years of experience in the industry. There are some things that seem to trip up homebuyers again and again. Here are the mistakes real estate experts say people make when buying a home:

FAILING TO GET PRE-APPROVED

Before you even start looking at homes, buyers should get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will ensure you are visiting houses you can purchase. We want to help you avoid the heartbreak that can come from missing out on a hot property. It will also help when multiple people are placing offers. “There’s nothing worse than having a buyer find the home of their dreams, find out they are not pre-approved but need to place an offer in 12 hours,” says Jill Surek, a sales associate with Dane County Real Estate in Madison, WI.

NEGLECTING TO FACTOR IN ALL THE COSTS

One reason for the housing market collapse a decade ago was the number of homebuyers who purchased properties with costs beyond their means. “Lenders own a lot of the problems that happened in the past,” Rich Surek says. “We put [people] in homes they really couldn’t afford.” Regulatory changes were enacted to help avoid a repeat of that situation, but buyers still bear responsibility for ensuring they can afford all the costs of homeownership. Those include property taxes, insurance, closing costs and association dues.

OPTING IN OR OUT OF THE COMPLETE DIGITAL MORTGAGE PROCESS

While not every lender offers a digital option for income and asset verification, consumers should consider opting in when it’s available. “It’s startling if you have to go through the manual process,” says Rich Surek, Senior Mortgage Consultant for US Lending Corporation. Lenders who can electronically verify information may be able to close in as little as 20 days, compared to 45 days for those going through manual verification. It also eliminates a headache for borrowers who otherwise have to dig out months of bank statements and pay stubs to prove they can afford the mortgage.  However, for the first time homebuyer, doing it completely digital also comes without an expert’s experience and knowledge they can pass on to you.

THINKING YOUR MORTGAGE WILL REMAIN AT THE SAME LENDER

The mortgage company that approves the loan might not be the one receiving subsequent payments. “Consumers should know it is very customary for loans to be sold after closing,” Rich Surek says. Homebuyers should watch for a notice of a mortgage sale to ensure their payments are routed correctly and late fees are avoided.

SEEING PAPERWORK FOR THE FIRST TIME AT CLOSING

Sitting down to a closing with a stack of papers to sign can feel like a high-stakes experience. Homebuyers have brought their money to the table and are planning to walk away with the keys to a new property. “All these things create pressure to just sign,” says Rich Surek.  However, that paperwork could include provisions, such as releases of liability, that aren’t favorable to buyers. “The right thing to do is get copies of the documents days in advance,” Jill Surek says. That way buyers have plenty of time to review the paperwork or have someone they trust look it over prior to signing.

NOT UNDERSTANDING PROPERTY RESTRICTIONS

Not every mistake homebuyers make is financial in nature. Some people fail to realize the property they’ve selected comes with a laundry list of restrictions. “If it’s a condo, as are most apartments in Madison, WI, there are a lot of rules,” says Jill Surek, a professional real estate salesperson for Dane County Real Estate. Rules may restrict everything from what improvements an owner can make to when to take out the trash. Homeowners associations can also make similar restrictions, and both associations and condo associations can charge residents substantial monthly or annual fees.

USING THE WRONG AGENT

Avoid mistakes by having the right agent or broker helping with the buying process. “A first-time homebuyer needs someone who’s going to spend a whole lot of time with them,” Rich Surek says. Meanwhile, a repeat buyer who is investing in real estate might not need much assistance with the selection process, but could use someone who is savvy about financing options.

VISITING THE PROPERTY ONLY ONCE

A single showing will only tell you so much about a property. At 12 p.m. on a weekday, the neighbors might all be gone and the traffic minimal. “I always make sure my clients see a condo or new home a few times at different times of the day,” Jill Surek says. That avoids situations in which someone moves in only to realize that the walls are paper thin or the street gridlocks during rush hour.

FORGETTING TO CONSIDER USES OF NEARBY PROPERTIES

When viewing a home, people should consider how nearby properties can affect their quality of life. Living near a school, for instance, may be convenient, but will traffic and noise from Friday night football games be a nuisance?

While no one can predict the future, homebuyers should also remember that neighboring properties can change over time. “You might have this amazing view, but come to find out there is a 50-story high-rise going up in front of [you],” Jill Surek says. Likewise, fields can become subdivisions and vacant lots can turn into businesses. Check with local zoning administrators to find out what’s the rules are in your area. We also will investigate whether any potential projects are already in the works.

SKIPPING A HOME INSPECTION

In a seller’s market, waiving a home inspection may be one way to make an offer more attractive. However, that tactic could backfire if a buyer later discovers serious problems with the property. Along with getting the inspection, be realistic about how its findings affect the affordability of a home. “If you’re really tight on your finances and getting into a home that needs repairs, can you afford those repairs?” Rich Surek asks.

BUYING WHEN YOU SHOULD BE RENTING

The biggest mistake can be simply buying a house in the first place. “It’s not cheap to buy a house,” Rich Surek says. He estimates there could be as much as $10,000 in transaction costs associated with the purchase of a $300,000 house. That’s in addition to moving expenses and other incidental costs. While buying a house can be a wise investment for those ready to settle down long term, the cost may not make sense for those planning to move in two or three years. In those instances, renting may be more cost-effective.

Buying a home can be an exciting time in a person’s life, and by avoiding these pitfalls, it can be a positive experience as well.

Richard Surek | Senior Mortgage Advisor | 608-960-4363 | rich@gosuslending.com | richsurek.com

CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE NEW HOME BUYER CONSULTATION

CLICK HERE TO PRE-QUALIFY FOR A NEW HOME LOAN

 

 

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What to Expect From The Madison Housing Market in 2018 – Part 2 New Construction

WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN CONSTRUCTING A HOME IN MADISON 2018

One of Madison housing market’s biggest struggles recently has been a lack of new inventory coming on the market. New construction hasn’t always kept pace with the growth of U.S. households, and while construction has picked up in recent years, much of the development has been in multifamily buildings – apartments for rent or condominium’s close or in downtown Madison – leaving many prospective home buyers out of luck.

“Much of the new development areas around Madison and its suburbs are trying to create an environment that allows tenants / residents – all users – to have that live, work and play feel,” with a mix of retail, office and residential spaces so residents don’t have to travel far, Jill Surek of Dane County Real Estate says.

In addition to more mixed-use communities that blend commercial and residential property, expect the size of individual apartments, condos and houses to get smaller as well. Richard Surek a licensed real estate agent and senior mortgage advisor for Dane County Real Estate & US Lending Corp in Madison, WI., says “many new apartments and condos in the city are shrinking to increase profit for developers, and residents so far have been willing to compromise. Many of my clients have noticed it just driving down E. Washington Avenue.” These smaller footprints are appearing in many other major markets as well, including Milwaukee, WI.

“Four years ago, developers were making two-bedrooms that were 1,200 square feet, now they’re making them 1,000 square feet,” Jill Surek says. “From the buyer’s angle, it’s: ‘It’s not enough square feet for me, but it’ll still work.’ They want to stay in the city.”

BUILD A NEW HOME IN DANE COUNTY AND AVOID THE SLIM REAL ESTATE INVENTORY ISSUES

It’s exciting to have a home built for you in or around Madison, but the intricacy and unfamiliarity of the mortgage loan process for the first time home buyer or any new construction client can temper enthusiasm. Here are some of the basics of home construction loans and so you can be ready when you decide to build your own new home in Dane County, WI.

CONSTRUCTION LOANS FOR YOUR NEW DANE COUNTY REAL ESTATE

There are two main types of home construction loans:

Construction-to-permanent loan:  You borrow to pay for construction. When you move in, the lender at US Lending Corp. converts the loan balance into a permanent mortgage. It’s basically two loans in one.

During the construction phase, you pay interest only on the outstanding balance. The interest rate is variable during construction, moving up or down with the prime rate. If the Federal Reserve raises or decreases short-term interest rates while the house is being built, your interest rate will change.

We then convert the construction loan into a permanent mortgage after your contractor finishes building your new Dane County home. The permanent mortgage is like any other mortgage. We can help you choose a fixed-rate or an adjustable-rate loan and specify the loan’s term, typically 15 or 30 years. When you’re ready, contact Rich Surek to help you through the entire process.

Stand-alone construction loan:  Your first loan with US Lending Corp. pays for construction. When you move in, you get a mortgage with one of our lenders at US Lending Corp. to pay off the construction debt. It’s two separate loans.

A stand-alone construction loan can work out well if it allows you to make a smaller down payment. That can be a major advantage if you already own a home and don’t have much cash for a down payment but you will have more cash after you sell your home. You can live in your current home while your next home is under construction.  This convenience may have some drawbacks too.  You will be paying two sets of fees at closing for the construction loan and for the permanent home loan.  You may not be able to lock the new permanent home loan’s rate, which can rise or fall.

KEEP UP YOUR CREDIT AND FINANCIALS DURING NEW HOME CONSTRUCTION

If your financial circumstances change for the worse during construction, you may find it difficult or impossible to qualify for a mortgage.   When contact Rich or Jill when you apply for a loan to build a home, our lenders at US Lending Corp. don’t have a complete home as collateral, so qualifying for a loan can be more difficult. Our lenders will want details about the home’s size, the materials used and the contractors and subcontractors who do the work. The general contractor you choose to build your home in or around Madison, WI will generally be able to supply much of the information the lender will need.

Basically, since this may be a more difficult path to home ownership in Dane County, WI.  The rewards can great, you will have more options to choose from in the Madison Home Marketplace and usually get the amenities you prefer.  However, since lenders require more checking in with the home building process, they need you to stay in good financial standing!

Please contact our team below, we look forward to walking you through every step with your pace in mind!

Richard Surek | Senior Mortgage Advisor | 608-960-4363 | rich@gosuslending.com | richsurek.com

CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE NEW HOME BUYER CONSULTATION

CLICK HERE TO PRE-QUALIFY FOR A NEW HOME LOAN

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Rich Surek – Questions I Normally Receive Part 1: 12 Mortgage Questions

WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD I HAVE WHEN LOOKING FOR A NEW MORTGAGE

Having a list of mortgage questions is just the start.  Knowing the answers to your mortgage questions you have helps you get ahead of the mortgage process.

1. Which type of mortgage is best for me?

This question always helped me separate myself from other mortgage brokers or advisors in my industry. When asked, “What are my options?” for each type of loan discussed, I’ve always discuss the pros and the cons of the individual’s unique position or circumstance.

2. How much down payment will I need?

A 20% down payment is usually ideal, but there are different choices depending on your qualification. Qualified buyers can find mortgages with as little as 3.5% down, or even no down payment. There are always unique considerations for every down payment option. I look forward to walking you through each option. Contact Rich Surek Here.

3. Do I qualify for any down payment assistance programs?

I value my experience combined with knowledge of local, state and national down payment assistance programs.  If you have this question, now more then ever you need help to navigate the mortgage process for purchasing or refinancing your home.

4. What is my interest rate?

Sure, you’re going to ask this one. It’s the something we can all usually have an idea about.

My guess is you may have already looked online and shopped what nationwide rates are, maybe you already have an interest rate you’ll may qualify for. Let’s say it’s 4-5%. We’ll call that your payment interest rate because that’s what your monthly mortgage payment will be based on. Knowing that, we need to move on to the next part of the question what is my annual percentage rate, or APR.

This may be effected because we may be discussing an adjustable-rate mortgage rather than a fixed-rate loan. We’ll next discuss when is the payment interest rate adjusted? What is the maximum annual adjustment? What is the highest cap on your interest rate?

5. Are you doing a hard credit check on me today?

It’s always good to know when the lender is going to perform a “hard” credit check, called a “hard pull.” That type of payment history inquiry shows up on your credit report. I will need to do this to give you a firm interest rate quote, but I can discuss options before doing this for you. Contact Rich Surek Here.

You should stop shopping more than one source everyday, you’ll want these hard credit pulls to occur within a short period of time — say within just a week or so — to minimize the impact on your credit score.  While working with me, I can assure you the best outcome for any situation you may be in to also help minimize the need to shop for mortgages any further.

7. Do you charge for an interest rate lock?

You may want to lock in your interest rate.  This ensures that your interest rate doesn’t go up, though your interest rate won’t go down, either. The basic answer is there is no charge for me to lock your rate.

8. Will I have to pay mortgage insurance?

If you put down less than 20%, the answer will probably be “Yes.” Even if the mortgage insurance is “lender paid,” it’s likely passed on as a cost built into your mortgage payment, which increases your rate and monthly payment. You’ll want to know just how much mortgage insurance will cost and if it’s an upfront or ongoing charge, or both.

I will walk you through other loan programs that you might qualify for that don’t require mortgage insurance “PMI.” I may also suggest a higher down payment for some loan products as well.

9. What will my monthly payment be?

This is one of the more important questions anyone should ask me. Knowing what your monthly mortgage payment will be is kind of key to the whole deal. You should also want to know if there is any prepayment penalty if you pay off the mortgage early or refinance later.  I would like to go through every detail so you know and more importantly understand the options, even including tax payments, home owners insurance, condo or HOA fees are all in front of you when you make your decisions.

10. What are your fees?

Everyone should have what their clients closing costs and/or any real estate fees that are going to be addressed when we close.  I don’t like leaving anything to chance or to be left out on any transaction which could spur questions that may come after you close and didn’t understand beforehand.  No question is wrong to ask, this one is crucial because it separates the advisor’s role from a salesperson’s.

11. How often will I be updated on the loan’s progress?

Having a single point of contact throughout the mortgage loan process and/or real estate transaction is IDEAL.  I pride myself on being one of very few out there that can help anyone through both sides of a new home loan. How I will update you on the progress of your loan: by email, phone, video chat, or of course in person!

12. How long until my loan closes?

You obviously want to know what your target closing and move-in dates are in a home purchase transaction so you can make preparations. Just as important is how long your refinance can be to help settle your payment structure.  Note: I’ll advise you on what to do with your purchasing or anything else that can effect your closing properly in the meantime.

Richard Surek | Senior Mortgage Advisor | 608-960-4363 | rich@gosuslending.com | richsurek.com

CLICK HERE TO APPLY FOR A LOAN

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Top Questions I Get Asked About VA Mortgage Loans

RICHARD SUREK: WISCONSIN’S VA MORTGAGE ADVISOR

The Memorial Day holiday is a time to remember and thank our currently serving military and those who served their country in the past. It’s also a time to remember that veterans get a very special deal on mortgages through the VA loan program.

If they meet the qualifications, a vet can get a home mortgage with ZERO down payment — a rarity in this day of extreme bank scrutiny of mortgage applications.

The VA does not “make” the loans. Instead it guarantees the loan. There is no mortgage insurance payment. The VA is guaranteeing the loan payments to the lender on your behalf, as a reward for serving your country. A VA loan can only be used for a personal residence, not an investment property.

TOP QUESTIONS I GET ASKED ABOUT VA LOANS

Does it cost anything to get prequalified?

No, it does not. I’m a VET and a loan specialists that takes great pride in helping veterans and military personnel get into homes.

Are you the VA or a branch of the VA?

No we are not the Veteran’s Administration. The VA does not lend money, they insure the money that we lend. We are a mortgage company that specializes in VA insured home loans.

What is a COE? Where can I get it?

COE stands for Certificate of Eligibility. It is the certificate that proves that you as the veteran are eligible for a VA guaranteed home loan. Veteran Loan Center can get these for you during the loan process.

Why use my VA home loan benefit?

The VA loan is a program set up to help active duty and retired military personnel into homes. They will give you 100% financing on a home without having to pay mortgage insurance at a very competitive rate. The VA also limits the types of fees that can be charged protecting against predatory lending.

How do interest rates fluctuate?

Interest rates can change daily, sometimes even a couple times in the same day. They are based on the 30 year mortgage bond and many other market factors. Credit, employment status, loan program, and many other things can also affect your interest rate.

What is a funding fee? Do I have to pay for this?

VA funding fee is a fee added to your loan that goes to the Veterans Administration. For your first time use of a VA loan, your funding fee is 2.15% of your loan amount. For each subsequent use it is 3.3%. You will be required to pay it unless you have a service related disability of 10% or greater in which case the funding fee is waived.

What do I need to get qualified? Am I eligible?

I have a few quick questions to ask to get you qualified. That includes your income, debts and SSN to pull you credit history. We will contact you within minutes to give you the status and possibility of you obtaining a loan.

What are the benefits of a VA loan?

The VA loan offers 100% financing with no mortgage insurance. The loan is assumable and you are eligible for a streamline refinance if rates go down. It offers great rates and is less strict on credit than most conventional loans.

Can I get an interest only loan?

The VA loan does not offer an interest only option at this time. We do have access to interest only conventional programs and would be happy to put you into one of these programs.

May I purchase land with the VA?

No, the VA loan is designed for existing home purchases or new construction. They are unable to do land loans at this time.

May I use my VA eligibility more than once?

Yes, but in most cases you will only be able to hold one VA loan at a time.

Does it matter what your credit score is with the VA?

The VA doesn’t put an extraordinary amount of weight on credit scores, but does look for a clear 12 month history.

May I use a co-borrower to help get approved?

VA guidelines will only allow a spouse to be a co-signer. I am able to provide conventional financing as well which may be more suitable if a co-signer other than a spouse is needed for qualification.

Have More Questions? CONTACT RICH SUREK TODAY

MORE ABOUT VA LOANS / MORTGAGES

Some other key criteria:

• Credit Score above 640
• Demonstrate steady income, or a two-year history of self-employment, or a stream of retirement benefits.
• Spousal income can help qualify, and some spouses of deceased vets can qualify if the spouse died of a service-related disability.
• Total debt payments cannot be more than 43 percent of total income.
• No unpaid liens or judgments.
• Must wait two years after a bankruptcy to apply.

Since there is no age limit to apply, even older vets can use this program. And if you have previously used this benefit, there may be some remaining eligibility left.

A VA loan can also be used to take cash out of your home. Since the mortgage is guaranteed up to 100 percent of the home’s value, many vets choose to refinance even non-VA loans into a new VA loan, in order to withdraw much needed cash from home equity.

HAVE RICH SUREK HELP YOU GET STARTED TODAY

To get started on a VA loan for either a new purchase or a refinance, you need a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). This certificate may be used to purchase a property with no down payment, refinance an existing conventional loan up to 100 percent of the home’s value, or streamline refinance an existing VA loan into a lower rate. Once you have that certificate, I will work with the VA to get the loan guarantee and process your mortgage.

If you’re already registered with the VA, I may be able to get you an immediate certificate of eligibility. Being a Veteran myself, I specialize in VA loans. CLICK HERE TO CONTACT RICH SUREK TODAY.

Memorial Day holiday is a perfect time for this reminder, because I know that Freedom isn’t Free.  It may take a little extra effort for myself and the team, but it’s a shame to lose out on our opportunity to help you finance (or re-finance) your home.

Richard Surek | 608-960-4363 | richsurek.com

After serving in the first Gulf War and fulfilling 7 years in the US Navy, I began my career in mortgage lending. Since 1996 I have focused on customer care and built my reputation through old fashion honesty and hard work.. This has resulted in established and long lasting relationships with my clients.

Department of Veteran Affairs: https://www.va.gov/

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What to Expect From The Madison Housing Market in 2018: Part 1 Buying & Selling

WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN BUYING AND SELLING A HOME IN 2018

Whether you’re looking to buy or sell a home in and around Madison in 2018, or find the perfect rental, it helps to know what you’re up against. My belief is timing will be paramount for homebuyers around Madison, WI for the coming months.  While sellers will likely have an easier time making a successful deal. Meanwhile, renters may find more amenities and negotiating power.

Here’s part one of what to expect for the remainder of Madison’s housing market in 2018.

BUYING AND SELLING

With tight seller’s markets being the leading narrative on home buying over the past few years, Madisonians are unsure about their ability to buy a home.  Coming into the second halve of 2018, about 25 percent of my clients believed 2018 was to be a better time to buy a home than 2017.

These attitudes have been pervasive for years and are beginning to wane on homebuyer enthusiasm. Madison, WI has seen many new high rise apartments being constructed in downtown, campus, and along E. Washington.  High rents hinder would-be first-time buyers’ ability to save, while interest rates are expected to rise and home prices continue to swell in midlevel housing throughout Dane County.

Many real estate consultants and agents like myself, expect the home ownership rate to continue on the slight upward trend into the third quarter this year.  Interested buyers will want to remain diligent about their research and keep a close eye out for new properties coming on the market. It will also be imperative for buyers to have their financing in order to help make an appealing offer on a house, as there will likely be more than one offer on available homes in many markets.  If you need help in this area, please reach out for a consultation here.

MADISON MILLENNIALS

Affordable homes will still be found in the suburbs and outlying neighborhoods of Madison, WI. Millennials have been late to home buying due to higher growth of the appealing apartments than previous generations in Dane County, according to Jill Surek, real estate agent at Dane County Real Estate, a broker located in Middleon, WI.  Along with the amenities that come with new apartments comes higher rents, that makes moving to a more affordable neighborhood key when looking to buy a new home in the second half of 2018.   It’s unclear if millennials are slow to embrace the suburbs because they may like to the convenience of city living or they simply don’t feel confident enough to buy. “We haven’t seen a large shift to the suburbs from them yet,” Jill says. “The contention is maybe that won’t happen.”  Many Dane County neighborhoods are continually looking at how to expand into condominium and townhouse developments to keep up with the downtown Madison growth of 2016-17.

For sellers, on the other hand, enthusiasm is up – likely because home prices have continued to climb in recent years. A high percentage of my clients believe 2018 will continue to be an even better year to sell than it was in 2017. Of course, this enthusiasm doesn’t translate to more options for buyers: Madisonians may feel it’s a great year to sell their home, but only a small percent of homeowners I’m working with now, currently plan to do so in 2018.  The lack of new inventory spells opportunity for those who choose to sell, but will keep many would-be first-time buyers from jumping into home ownership due to stiff competition.

Richard Surek | Senior Mortgage Advisor | 608-960-4363 | rich@gosuslending.com | richsurek.com

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Rich Surek – Questions I Normally Receive Part 2: 12 New Home Buyer Questions

WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD I HAVE BEING A NEW HOME BUYER

Buying real estate can be exciting and possibly terrifying, all at the same time. There are many steps to the home buying process and each step creates a new set of questions.  In this part of my 3 part series we will be focusing on the new home buyer, if you missed part 1, please check it out here. 12 Mortgage Questions. Knowing the answers of the 12 most common new home buying questions can help with some possible stress you may be feeling.  Buying a home may seem intimidating but a good Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor will make it much easier.  I make it my mission to take care of you through each step in purchasing your first home. Contact Rich Surek Today.

1. What’s the first step of buying your first home?

The mortgage pre-approval should be the first place everyone starts.  For a new home buyer this is by far the best method both Realtors and Mortgage Brokers alike will tell you to do. Unless you are paying cash for a house, you will need to get a mortgage. In order to know how much home you can afford, you will need to get pre-approved for a loan.  Apply Here!

2. What does a Realtor® do?

The quick answer, a bunch!  A Realtor® is one of your most valuable assets when buying a home for the first time. A good Realtor® will walk you through every part of the home buying process. They will educate and inform you of all your options. A Realtor® will represent you throughout the transaction and beyond. To fully understand what that means, you can reach out to me and we can help you get started. To learn more visit my full site here.

3. What does a Mortgage Broker / Advisor do?

The simplest answer, save you time and money!  It can be quite frustrating and time-consuming to shop around for mortgage options. However, a mortgage broker can streamline the process by helping a client fill out a single application that can be passed on to multiple lenders. While the client is working or house hunting, the broker is hard at work as well.  To learn more visit my page on why to hire a mortgage broker / advisor here.

4. How long does it take to buy your first home?

The usual time frame to purchase a new home is 30 to 45 days.  The timeline for finding a house varies greatly from person to person. Once you find a house and have an accepted offer, it usually takes around 30 days to close.  Keeping some extra days to make sure all contingencies are planned for is something I highly recommend.

5. How much do I have to pay a Realtor®?

This answer always makes my clients smile, nothing.  You usually do not have to pay them anything to help you purchase a home. Sellers are responsible to pay their REALTOR® a fee, and then that listing agent pays the buyers agent for bringing you, the buyer, that assisted with the sale of the home.

6. Do you have any great advice for a first time home buyer like me?

My obvious answer to this question, trust the professionals!  Beware of the opinions of others. Real estate is a popular topic so usually everyone feels like they have some great insight to offer. In reality, the people who know best are the people that work in the business.  I’ve seen too many first-time home buyers become persuaded by well-meaning friends and family, only to be disappointed later. Be confident in your decisions and trust the professionals you hire.  Having an experience with so many transactions leads to many referrals for a reason.  If you’re friends or family are giving you the advice to seek a professional or possibly sent you to me, that’s the best advice they can give.  Contact Rich Surek for the help you need.

7. Do I need to have amazing credit to buy a home?

For many years the answer was always yes, however now a 620 credit score, or higher, is what I recommend. You may be aware that a higher credit score grants you a better rate or term. However, loan requirements are constantly changing from year to year. There are some lenders who will approve buyers with a 580 score, sometimes even lower. There are also many more programs using FHA, VA or USDA to approve you to purchase your first home.

8. Are there any special programs to purchase a new home?

The answer, you bet!  There are some great home buying programs to research if you would like before our consultation. The ones I recommend most are FHA & VA loans. Knowing the difference between these loan types is very important.  Both provide down payment assistance under certain conditions.  Also the USDA loan is a great product when looking in more rural areas of your state.

9. How much money should I have or save for a down payment?

The most common answer you hear is 20%; however, there is more possibilites out there for loan products.  Now a common answer I give is 3% to 5% of the purchase price. FHA loans normally only require 3.5%.  Veterans are normally eligible for a VA loan, which requires no money down.  Properties in rural areas are usually eligible for a USDA loan, which also may require no money down.  Let me help you research all the options available to you.  Apply Here or Contact Rich to start the process.

10. What other fees am I going to get charged with a new home purchase?

The down payment is usually the largest cost associated with your first home. Closing costs are usually the the second largest cost to home buyers, they commonly include title fees, appraisals, and escrow fees for taxes.  One of the best compliments I get is going through all of your fees from the beginning vs. surprising you at the end or while closing on your new home. If you don’t want to be surprised about fees, contact me today so you can get the facts.

11. Should I get a home inspection?

Absolutely yes!  Your not just buying that beautiful living room with a fireplace.  You’re also buying any problems that can be lurking in the attic, basement or crawl space.  Sometimes a new home buyer can even get the home inspection to be paid for by the seller, but don’t always count on that.  Figure it as a cost and protection before the transaction is final.

12. When do I get the keys to my new home?

You get the keys at closing.  Normally a typical closing takes about an hour.  Some inexperience can lead other brokers or realtors to schedule closings on Friday afternoon and the loan may not fund before Monday and you may not get the keys until then.  This is just one more reason to have an advisor with experience on your side.  I want you to have the biggest smile and be proud of your new home purchase the day you close so you can move into your new home right away.

Richard Surek | Senior Mortgage Advisor | 608-960-4363 | rich@gosuslending.com | richsurek.com

CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE NEW HOME BUYER CONSULTATION

CLICK HERE TO PRE-QUALIFY FOR A NEW HOME LOAN